Finding Legal Help

If you are experiencing family or domestic violence, it’s important for you to understand your legal rights and seek legal advice when required. You may want to seek legal advice regarding:

  • Applications and representation for restraining orders
  • Disputes about children and divorce
  • Child support
  • Children’s court matters
  • Family dispute resolution
  • Immigration advice such as residency applications
  • Victim and child witness support
  • Parenting arrangements
  • Tenancy options

Where can I get help?

In Western Australia, there are a variety of services that can help you with family and domestic violence issues, some of these are free and some charge for their services. Below is an outline of some of the legal services available.

Victim Support Service

The Victim Support Service is a free service provided by the Department of Justice and can help with:

  • Counselling and support
  • Providing information and referrals to other support services
  • Helping victims write a victim impact statement
  • Preparing and supporting victims during a court case
  • Helping victims obtain information on the status of police investigations
  • Providing support when making an application for a restraining order
  • Providing information about criminal injuries compensation
  • Helping victims understand their rights within the criminal justice system
  • Providing information on the status of convicted offenders in WA, through the Victim Notification Register

To contact the Victim Support Service call (08) 9425 2850 or 1800 818 988 or use our online directory to find your local Victim Support service.

Legal Aid WA

Legal Aid WA has a Domestic Violence Legal Unit to support victims of family and domestic violence. To contact Legal Aid WA call 1300 650 579 or visit our online services directory to find your local Legal Aid WA service. Legal Aid WA provides:

  • Legal advice about family violence matters, including the law about Family Violence Restraining Orders (FVROs)
  • Legal advice about family law matters, including dispute resolution, child support, children’s lawyers and child representatives, property settlement and parenting arrangements
  • Helping clients impacted by family violence who may not wish to start a legal case
  • Services for victims of crime:
    • Counselling and support
    • Providing information and referrals to other support services
    • Helping victims write a victim impact statement
    • Preparing and supporting victims during a court case
    • Helping victims obtain information on the status of police investigations
    • Providing support when making an application for a restraining order
    • Providing information about criminal injuries compensation
    • Helping victims understand their rights within the criminal justice system
    • Providing information on the status of convicted offenders in WA, through the Victim Notification Register

Family and Advocacy Support Service

This is a free specialist family violence service which provides legal and social support services to victims of family and domestic violence. To contact the Family and Advocacy Support Service call (08) 9224 8690, email FASS@legalaid.wa.gov.au or visit them online.

The Family Advocacy Support Service can help with:

  • Arrangements for children
  • Domestic Violence Orders (known as Family Violence Restraining Orders or FVROs)
  • Property after separation
  • Divorce
  • Child Support
  • Child protection
  • Applying for legal aid
  • Some urgent court matters
  • Help you plan for your safety
  • Talk to the Family Courts about your safety at court
  • Give you information and support during your family law case
  • Help with practical problems like Centrelink and housing

Community Legal Centres

Community Legal Centres are independent community-based organisations that provide free, or low cost legal help with family law and family violence, credit and debt, consumer law, social security, migration, tenancy, discrimination, employment and child protection. To contact a Community Legal Centre WA call (08) 9221 9322 or visit them online.

Women’s Legal Service WA

The Women’s Legal Service WA provides free legal advice to women. To contact the Women’s Legal Service call (08) 9272 8800 or 1800 625 122, email info@wlswa.org.au or visit them online.

The Women’s Legal Service WA can assist women with:

  • Family law (parenting related matters, divorce and some property settlement matters through their Legal Clinic)
  • Family violence (identifying and responding to family violence and restraining order matters)
  • Protection and care (matters involving the Department of Communities Child Protection and Family Support Division)
  • Criminal injuries compensation (where it relates to family violence, assault or sexual assault)

Private Family Law Lawyers

Private family lawyers and firms can help you with family law and issues such as divorce, property division and settlement, violence restraining orders, child support and parenting agreements. Use our online services directory to find a private family law lawyer in your area.

Legal help for obtaining a restraining order

If you or your property is threatened, harassed, or intimidated and you are concerned that it will continue, then you can apply to have a Restraining Order taken out against the person concerned – you can do this in person or online.

The below information has been sourced directly from the Department of Justice WA and the Magistrates Court WA. We recommend you seek independent legal advice.

In Western Australia you can find help for applying for Family Violence Restraining Order (FVRO) in person at:

You can also apply for a restraining order online.

The online restraining order application service has been introduced so that if you are seeking the protection of a restraining order you can lodge an application without having to attend a Magistrates court.

Applications can only be lodged online through a legal service provider approved by the CEO of the Department of Justice. The following legal service providers have been approved:

For more information on online restraining orders visit Victims of Crime website.

Tenancy Law and Legal Advice

In 2019 new tenancy laws came into effect to give greater protection and options on managing a tenancy agreement (lease) for people experiencing domestic violence.

The below information has been sourced directly from Safe Tenancy WA. We also recommend you seek independent legal advice.

If you are a tenant and affected by family and domestic violence in WA you are now able to:

  • GO – leave a tenancy agreement without going to court and with as little as seven (7) days’ notice (you can leave right away for safety but will need to pay rent until the end of the notice period)
  • STAY – apply to court to have a perpetrator’s name removed from a lease
  • SECURE – Make a rental home safer through lock changes or security upgrades
  • RESOLVE – Sort out disputes about property damage, unpaid rent or bonds
  • Seek removal from, or avoid being listed on, a tenancy database if the listing was because of family or domestic violence

Visit our Terminating Your Lease section to learn more.

To get advice on your tenancy options contact Tenancy WA (08) 9221 0088 or 1800 621 888) or your local Community Legal Centre (08) 9221 9322 or administrator@communitylegalwa.org.au

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